Is Obama Scared of the House Version of Cap and Trade?

The house version of the "tax and tax" plan -- better known as "cap and trade" -- passed the week before last with a few provisions that even President Obama is wary of, according to the above-linked Wall Street Journal article. Specifically, my free-spending President is worried about "a provision to impose tariffs on goods from countries that don't match U.S. efforts to combat global warming ... [that was] inserted by Democratic leaders". Perhaps this, in part, explains why "nearly one in five Democrats defected from the House bill," despite the sustainability fervor sweeping the nation (that is, if you've drunken the green kool-aid).

In the current recession, I happen to believe the very worst thing we could do is suggest to our global trading partners that down the line, they're going to have to subscribe to our rules of doing business or face punitive tariffs as a result. Especially considering that the science behind taxing and selling the right to emit carbon emissions is based on analysis that an increasing number of scientists are questioning, this new, "stick it to the Chinese and Indians" provision of the bill seems even more ill-timed. Personally, I see it as another swipe by protectionist congressional leaders who are more concerned with saving US jobs than doing right by the country. Which is ironic, of course, because such a policy will not begin to make up for the number of US jobs that cap and trade will cost in the first place.

Unlike healthcare reform -- which even a number of corporations like Wal-Mart are beginning to honestly embrace -- I challenge anyone to show me a company that actually supports cap and trade in its heart (without an ulterior motive). I have no doubt that companies which claim to be behind it are only doing so either to: A) hedge their bets and attempt to influence the legislation in case it passes; or B) profit from the green energy investments that will come as a result of it. I personally believe cap and trade will be as destructive as it will be ineffective. But I'm not the government, stuck with trillions of dollars of debt that I need to pay off, either.

Jason Busch

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